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Working weekends on nuclear power project

Work at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) is progressing rapidly with employees working even on holidays to get the atomic regulator’s nod to reopen the first reactor vessel and remove the dummy fuel, according to the Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL).

“Around 1,020 NPCIL officials at the project site and around 500 belonging to contractors are doing the preparatory activities needed to reopen the reactor vessel and unload the dummy fuel.


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We have to get written approval from AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) for that purpose,” a NPCIL official said.

“Preliminary meetings with AERB got over recently, and another meeting is expected before getting the nod to reopen the reactor vessel,” an official said, on condition of anonymity.

Once sanction is obtained from AERB for reopening the vessel and removal of the dummy fuel, it will take around 10 days to complete the whole process.

Ten to 15 nuclear reactor specialists from Croatia will be called to inspect the interiors of the reactor after the removal of the dummy fuel — fuel rods that are identical to the real fuel rods in specifications but without uranium, he said. 

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